As we all begin to emerge from the pandemic, it couldn’t be a more opportune time to reassess your agency’s current and prospective commercial book of business with an eye to growth. For years, we’ve been attuned to watching for potential disruptive forces, staying alert for Insuretechs, new market entrants, and direct writers. But the ultimate disruption that none of us planned for was a once-in-a-century pandemic that shuttered many long-established businesses. It took a serious toll on previously thriving business sectors such as hospitality and travel, while giving unexpected growth to other sectors such as home improvement and landscaping services, propelled by all the stay-at-homers.
As with any disruption, agents must be nimble in uncovering the opportunities. The time is right to plan for the post–pandemic boom that many economists anticipate. It’s the ideal time to assess your commercial book and plan your agency’s growth. And there’s no faster and more strategic way to do that than to focus on insurance specialties and niche industries.
The Benefits of a Targeted Approach to Growing Your Book
The shotgun approach for commercial marketing is yesterday’s way to grow your commercial book. It’s less efficient, less profitable, and does not distinguish you from the pack the way than a finely targeted approach does. It’s far more effective to grow your book by focusing on insurance specialties and niche markets. This approach yields many benefits:
- Shifting your focus from a transactional all-things-to-all-people approach to that of a consultative business partner and industry expert. This sector expertise will substantively differentiate your agency from your competition over time.
- Deepening your knowledge of the niche sector’s challenges and exposures will help build your agency authority and reputation, increase referrals, and strengthen retention.
- Focusing on a niche will afford more targeted marketing opportunities through industry lists, trade associations, publications, industry shows, sponsorships, blogs, and social media.
- Concentrating on a niche affords scale. It allows you to grow your business without a substantial increase in staff, marketing, and other expenditures.
Finding Your Insurance Specialties Niche
- Take a clear-eyed look at your existing book and assess the winners and losers. Which sectors are high-performing, and which are underperforming? Assess which business sectors in your geography are likely to rebound and which are likely to struggle to recover. Does your book already have any niche sectors that you can grow?
- Think about where your interests and expertise lie. To narrow your focus, think about the business sectors you enjoy and excel in servicing, that have exposures that you understand, and that you feel passionately about.
- Focus on identifying trending opportunities in unique sectors that have unique exposures and require non-standard, specialty solutions.
- Factor in federal dollars that COVID-19 Relief packages will direct at small businesses, manufacturers, education, municipalities, and healthcare industries involved in vaccine development and distribution.
- Plan for potential growth and federal investments in infrastructure and green industries. Keep an eye on developing initiatives and legislation.
- Talk to insurance underwriters about fast growth industry sectors and which industries show strength and weaknesses post pandemic.
- Do your research. When you identify a potential niche, assess whether it is large enough for you to grow your book, and what the stability and the growth prospects of the sector look like for the future.
Forge Strategic Partnerships
Growing a niche requires the right insurance partners, the right solutions, the right technology, and deep sector expertise. Finding the right insurance markets for your niche can be a challenge — but you don’t have to go it alone.
NIP Group’s Specialty Brokerage is a market leading wholesale brokerage operation serving 25 niche industries. We target non-standard commercial risks underwritten by admitted and non-admitted specialty carriers. Learn more about the niches that we serve and ways that you can leverage our expertise in placing and servicing complex risks through relationships with global insurance markets. Our philosophy of providing ingenuity in insurance has established us as one of the nation’s most respected specialized business insurance and risk management intermediaries, and a recognized leader of innovative insurance solutions.